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Four Things Every College Student Should Know

We welcome new college students to the world of academic writing.  However, there are Four Things Every College Student Should Know in the world of academic writing. Academic English is a language system that has its own rules and conventions. Mainly called the “academic style” and academic English”, its formal, has structure and is backed by evidence. From here on, this will be your maim style of writing for almost every assign!end you complete. Different disciplines will have different writing conventions, though there are general traits which apply across all disciplines.  Below are top tips to help and guide new students with academic writing.

Four Things Every College Student Should Know

Know your referencing style!

In academic writing, you are required to provide references. To achieve this there are three major citation styles used: Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA) and Chicago. They support two styles: Notes and Bibliography or Author-Date.

In order to ascertain which style to use, ask your instructors and classmates which style is appropriate. If the option is flexible, then to find out which suits you best, it is advisable to check out this guide from the University of Washington. t takes time to get used to referencing and using the correct style. The earlier you get a hang on this, the easier it will be when its time to submit assignments.

Plagiarism: Know it. Understand it.

In college today, plagiarism is a huge problem. It takes many forms, from verbatim copying to less obvious forms, like copying someone else’s ideas without acknowledging that person thereby passing it off as your own. Take your time to read and understand the various types of plagiarism – the ranking of plagiarism types lists them according to how academically dishonest and also how common it is – so you can avoid them as best as you can.

Don’t rely on Google Translate

Writing in English is tough for international students without having to follow the academic style of writing. But do not let this discourage you. Even English speakers from United States can also have trouble adjusting to British English and so on.

But do not take the easy way out by writing in your mother tongue and then translating it on Google Translate. For one, the technology isn’t as perfect as you think and could result in huge errors in context and grammar.

You’ll be losing out on “full engagement” and also with the academic community as well. Mike Groves who heads the Centre for English Language Education at the Malaysia Campus of the University of Nottingham wrote in The Conversation:

What ‘Google translate’ can not do is to teach the deeper academic literacies needed by students for full engagement with the academic community. With these debates, it is also important to remember that this type of English teaching is all about language which is being used to express complex ideas, and it is not possible to teach without a certain complexity as well as depth of content. It is also about aligning to the intellectual norms of academia, which generally involves a large amount of analysis and picking apart of concepts within a rigorous intellectual framework.”

Seek help. Take classes.

Academic writing can be really tough for international students to learn. The good news is that, most colleges today offer classes that teach “English for academic purposes”,

even some tailored specifically for those who use English as a secondary language. These are usually conducted by the English language teaching department and international students having trouble with academic writing should definitely get involved!